Last week, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen took a stand against the Global Gag Rule, reinstated by Donald Trump, under the moniker #Ploumen4Women.
This Global Gag Rule puts an immediate stop to all U.S. funding to organisations that offer information, advice or help concerning abortion. A fatal decision, given the fact that more than 100 women worldwide die every day as a result of an unsafe abortion . Minister Ploumen – once director of Mama Cash – decided to set up a fund immediately in order to minimize the consequences of the Global Gag Rule as much as possible. The initiative, named She Decides, was launched last Saturday, with a start-up capital of 10 million euros from the Dutch government.
We emphatically applaud the initiative of Ploumen! Bodily self-determination is a fundamental right for all women and girls throughout the world, and it is baffling and disgraceful that the current U.S. administration does not endorse that fundamental right.
The measure not only blocks access to safe abortions for millions of women worldwide. It also puts an end to various forms of sex education, birth control and maternity care. Trump’s decision blasts a 600-million-dollar hole in the budgets of organisations engaged in reproductive health. A lot more money is needed than Ploumen’s 10 million to plug that hole, so hopefully other governments and aid organisations will quickly follow her example . Private individuals can also contribute – for more information see http://shedecides.eu.
Nicky McIntyre, director of Mama Cash:
Make no mistake, this affects us all. The rights of women and girls are under fire, but also trans people, gay men and lesbians, religious, ethnic and other minorities are increasingly being driven into a corner. We must join forces and support each other’s initiatives.
And Mama Cash will, of course, continue standing squarely behind all organisations that fight for and defend the right of women, girls and trans people to make decisions about their own bodies and lives day after day after day! Chantelle de Nobrega, programme officer Body at Mama Cash: “It is clearer now more than ever how important the work is of all our partners who tirelessly fight for the right to freedom of choice with regard to sexuality and reproduction, free from duress, violence or discrimination.”